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Injury Free Skiing Physiotherapy


We work with lots of clients, from:

  • the regular mums and pops
  • weekend sports enthusiasts
  • professional athletes including marathoners, runners, footballers, rugby, etc
  • pre- and post-natal mummies

...and we aim to strengthen all our physiotherapy patients cores and to make their cores as strong as physically and humanly possible.


The reason for this is that for skiing safely, effectively (and for most fun), your core needs to be:

  • very strong
  • able to activate your deep core muscles

Stronger deep core muscles (transverse abdominus) will

  • decrease your vulnerability to injury
  • increase your balance and performance

especially as skiing conditions become more challenging ie simple skiing, one can work with weak core; but for more challenging skiing conditions, having a weak core will increase your risk of injuries.

Correct deep core muscle activation can/will take some time to master, and maintaining it throughout sporting performance can be challenging; particularly as muscle and cardiovascular fatigue starts to come in.

To start - locate where your true core is, master the art of activating it correctly, then practice makes perfect. What you should be aiming for is to consciously engage your core muscles throughout the day.

This will help strengthen the deep core. This technique can be completed in

  • standing
  • sitting,
  • walking
  • reading

 – basically anywhere!  These small, frequent muscle engagements add up to great results.


Current research shows that the majority of serious ski-related injuries are sustained to the knees, some of which are serious enough to require surgery. 

And unfortunately, many of these injuries are directly linked to excess pressure being placed through the knee joints, due to a lack of ankle mobility.

Once you think about it, that makes sense, and that is why learning the correct techniques and guidance from a qualified ski instructor, and constant reminders for beginners is important.

Just "a simple lack of bend" in the ankle joint can be enough to end your ski trip early due to serious injury.

A lack of ankle mobility can be as a result of:

  1. Poor ski form and/or technique
  2. Badly fitted ski boots preventing ankle dorsi- flexion (into the bent toes up position)
  3. Tightness in the calf muscles
  4. Stiff ankle joints

to ALL ski BEGINNERS – Get ski lessons

If you have invested in a trip to the slopes and all the gear to go with, then also invest in beginner ski lessons too. These ski lessons:

  • will teach you correct form from the get go and keep you safe
  • will allow you to progress more quickly and join your friends on the slopes feeling confident and safe


  1. Get your skiing boots fitted by a ski specialist to help maximise ankle mobility. If you’re renting boots spend some time at the rental shop learning to fasten your boot correctly and ensure they fit well.

  2. Stretch your calf muscles lots. There are 2 muscles that make up the calf area,

    a. the soleus (the deeper muscle lying below the bigger gastrocnemius muscle)
    b. gastrocnemious and
    c. Achilles tendon


Our hip joint is a ball and socket joint, which is highly mobile with the ability to move freely through a wide range of movement...and kkiing puts a significant pressure through the hip joints. Which is why our hip joint’s ability to both sustain and control this pressure whilst powering through turns smoothly is paramount.

Without full functional range of movement in the hips, the chances of sustaining an injury are much higher due to poor ski form and the way this lack of mobility impacts on other joints.

To prevent a hip related ski injury

  1. Hip stretching/ range of movement program - It is important to work through all ranges of motion when stretching out the hips. If you are not experienced with hip stretches, consider attending yoga classes or assessment and sessions with out senior Physiotherapist

  2. Deep tissue release / sports massage - regular myofascial or deep tissue release around the hip joints to help increase the extensibility of the local muscle groups. And they can also help work on stretching out your calf muscles as well prior to your ski trip.

start to control your hip activation

Lateral hip muscle activation and strength is important to

  • ensure skier symmetry and
  • prevent skiing in an A frame (otherwise know as snow plough).

As a beginner you are taught to ski in snow plough to ensure your safety and also to help build your confidence. However as you progress your ski ability, skill, strength and endurance, you will be taught to ski parallel, which basically means your skis move in unison, parallel to each other, rather than in an ‘A’ frame.

Your instructor will teach you to progress to parallel skiing, as skiing in an ‘A’ frame not only

  • causes inconsistency between turns due to asymmetrical skis,
  • also puts excess pressure on the knee joints, thus increasing chances of injury.

To prevent ski injury due to a lack of hip control:

Lateral chain strengthening program - the lateral chain includes the

  • glute medius
  • glute minimus (outer butt muscles)
  • opposing adductors of the thigh (the inner thigh muscles on the opposite leg)

Experienced skiiers will be aware of the importance of correct knee tracking to prevent injury.

For those less experienced, BEWARE of the valgus knee drop (falling inwards and in front of the knees).

This is one of the most common causes of knee ligamentous injuries, with a higher risk and occurrence in ladies due to

  • their naturally wider hips
  • increased Q- angles (angle between the hip and the knee)
  • diminished hip strength.

Strong glute muscles and lateral chain will help prevent valgus drop and keep you safer on the slopes.


1) Muscle soaks are great to manage and treat

  • muscle soreness
  • clear out built up lactic acid

(Keep an eye out for muscle soaks that contain magnesium, sodium, and bromide - they work better)

2) Foam rolling

Regularly foam rolling your muscles (especially those tight knots!) and stretching will help your body recover and prepare for skiing the following day.

3) Hydration and good fuel (food).

You need to hydrate and fuel your body pre and post workout.

  • Do ensure that you're drinking plenty of water before, during and after your days on the skiing slopes.
  • Foodwise, take carbohydrates, fats and protein before and after skiing sessions

Good hydration and food work well synergistically to help the muscles prepare and recover from the workout and demands; aiming to take your fuel around 60 minutes before you go to the skiing slopes for optimal effect.

If you need any help with

  • preventing injuries (especially if you have a history of skiing injuries)
  • build up strength in weak/at risk areas
  • sports massage or physiotherapy treatment for an injury

- give us a call for advice and/or to book in for an appointment